Arias Runs U.N. Debate On Global Arms Control
President Oscar Arias presided over a debate on military spending this week in the United Nations Security Council, where Costa Rica now holds a rotating presidency.
In his opening remarks, Arias lobbied for the Costa Rica Consensus, the idea that international lending institutions should reward countries that decrease arms spending and increase investment in education, health care, housing and the environment.
He also lobbied for the Arms Trade Treaty, a proposal now under discussion in the U.N. General Assembly that would prohibit arms sales to known human rights violators.
“I haven’t come here to call for the abolition of all armies,” he said. “Nor have I come to call for a drastic reduction in worldwide military spending, which now reaches $3.3 billion a day. But a gradual reduction is not only possible, it’s imperative.”
Article 26 of the U.N. Charter allows the Security Council to regulate the use and sale of arms, but much regulation is unpopular with the veto-wielding permanent members.
“Talking about arms control with England, France, China, Russia and the United States, and reaching an agreement, is a very difficult task,” said Jorge Urbina, Costa Rica’s representative to the United Nations. “Each one has interests.”
All 15 Security Council representatives and 23 members of the General Assembly spoke during the debate Wednesday about their countries’ efforts to reduce arms trafficking.
The Security Council later released a vague statement affirming “the necessity to strengthen peace and security through … disarmament, non-proliferation and arms control.”
Speaking at the debate, Zalmay Khalilzad, the U.S. representative to the U.N., lobbied for the Proliferation Security Initiative, a U.S.-led effort that seeks to coordinate and develop procedures for intercepting smugglers of unconventional weapons.
You may be interested
Costa Rica previews new tower at Calderón Guardia HospitalAlejandro Zúñiga - July 9, 2020
Costa Rican authorities on Thursday previewed a new tower at Calderón Guardia Hospital in San José, which could be used…
News briefs: Costa Rica will handle land borders differently than airportsAlejandro Zúñiga - July 9, 2020
The coronavirus crisis has transformed life in Costa Rica, which has enacted measures to protect the capacity of its health…
Costa Rica extends tourist visas until November 18Alejandro Zúñiga - July 8, 2020
Costa Rica's Immigration Administration is offering foreigners extra flexibility as countries continue to restrict travel due to the coronavirus pandemic.…